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Let Me Explain You, Amazon Prime Day

Amazon Prime is one of my first loves. We met in college, back when you used to get 6 months (practically the entire school year!) as a free trial. So, when they kept hyping up their 20th anniversary as being better than Black Friday I was pumped. The fact that #HappyPrimeDay fell on pay day didn’t hurt (or help) things either.

I was ready to buy a damn unicorn if I could. I expected Amazon to pull out all the stops.

I’ll spare you all the reasons they fell flat. Just know that Amazon Prime Day, as of 2:31pm EST has been a bigger disappointment than Black Friday for me.

Everything I could possibly never want has been on sale.

Then, I saw my dog’s favorite treats.

Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 9.08.57 AM

I GOT WAIT LISTED. To add salt to the wounds, I kept getting removed from the wait list. Whatever. They’re dog treats.


Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 9.16.04 AMBig surprise, this didn’t work either.

So, I was disappointed, disgruntled, and wanting it my way. I was about to say bye, bye, bye when I got distracted on Facebook.

This led me to remembering that my former Professor, Annie, published her first book yesterday.

Annie was my professor for a summer course called “Writers as Teachers.” Her class helped me realize that I could be a blogger and I teacher, even if the two identities sometimes crossed paths. The summer I took her class was the summer I attended BlogHer for the first time. It was the summer before I started student teaching, and the summer I first found myself actually identifying not only as a teacher, but as a writer as well.

Annie’s class was pretty badass.

So, it seemed like a no-brainer. I looked for Annie’s book on Amazon.

cover courtesy of

cover courtesy of

Annie’s book was on Amazon… for almost half price.

So, Amazon Prime Day wasn’t a total bust. I even added one day shipping so I could read Annie’s book on the train to BlogHer15 on Friday afternoon.

Amazon Prime Day was disappointing. I’m looking forward to getting something out of it that isn’t.


Hello, 17 year old me.

I’ve been awfully reflective lately. Perhaps it’s because I’m turning 24 in a few days, but, whatever the case may be, I keep thinking back to an experience I had in the fall. A former professor of mine sent me a message on Facebook, and I ended up attending “A Letter to Your Younger Self” Writing Workshop at the Tyler Clementi Center. The premise of the workshop was based off of the book “The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to their Younger Selves” , which James Lecesne, co-founder of the Trevor Project edited. We wrote letters to the past, reflecting on what lessons we would share with our younger selves.


writing to 17 year old moi

I ended up reading my letter at a sculpture dedication to the Tyler Clementi center. It was really meaningful to be able to read a letter to myself, as I had just found a letter from my 18 year old self that was sent to me from a seminar I took my first semester of college. In an odd set of circumstances, I was able to answer my younger self.


James Lecesne and I (photo courtesy of James Lecesne’s Facebook)

I also had the unexpected opportunity to speak with the family of Tyler Clementi, specifically his mother, Jane. She found me to talk to, and we had a really profound conversation about the coming out process for parents of lgbt children. The experience of speaking with Jane was so surreal, as I had actually avoided all news of her son during my undergraduate career. As a queer student leader on campus, following the death of her son, I came to resent the media the stalked and preyed on lgbt students on campus. Speaking with Jane– and receiving unexpected praise from her for being a queer writer and an educator– gave me unexpected closure to the tragedy that came to define by Rutgers career as “Before Tyler” and “After Tyler.” That afternoon truly changed my life.

As I currently look at the words I read a few months ago, I smile at the final words of advice I had for 17 year old me.

Be happy. Smile. Be you. Wear what you’re comfortable in. Read poetry– yes, poetry. Blast Melissa Etheridge if you want to. And, for the love of chocolate, wax your eyebrows and invest in a ceramic straightener. This will change your life.

The words of wisdom I had for 17 year old me are still applicable for the almost-24 year old me. For 24, I’m going to listen to these words of wisdom, smile, and be happy.

Snowday Surprise

It’s been so long since I’ve read a book. As an English teacher, stereotypes seem to dispense the idea that I read for pleasure on a regular basis. I wish this rumor were true.

Over Winter Break, a miracle happened. I had the time to read a book.

Then, we went back to school. For a day. There was a big snowstorm, and we had today off. I read the second Hunger Games book, and then my appetite couldn’t be satiated. So I read the final book of the trilogy.


I’m still crying as I write this, a combination of happiness and pain, a battle between satisfaction and anguish and despair.

Like the character Katniss Everdeen, I find myself wanting to sacrifice for those I love…. only my love in this case is that of reading.

Simply put, I really need to make more time for myself to read.